Car thief caught on charity’s security camera

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The security camera at Central Austin nonprofit Manos de Cristo caught a car thief Thursday evening.

The video shows a volunteer get out of her running car to pick up a sign. She left the driver’s door open and put the sign in the truck.  At the same moment, a man came around the front of the vehicle and got in.

“It was like a nightmare,” said Julie Ballesteros, Manos de Cristo executive director. “She’ll never get her peace of mind back– there’s nothing that anybody can do that will give that to her but we can at least help her recover her things.”

The video shows the thief eventually driving away in the car, but not before the volunteer pulled open the driver’s door and tried to keep him from leaving. With the door still open, the thief quickly makes his getaway.

The incident happened at 8:07 p.m., just after an event at the nonprofit honoring it’s donors. The volunteer’s purse and other belongings were inside the vehicle.

“It just was like a bad dream to have had such a lovely event where everybody was so happy and joyful and grateful and then for the evening to end like that. You know, it was still daylight,” Ballesteros said.

Austin police are investigating the crime as a car theft. The suspect is a white man who was wearing a white shirt and jeans at the time of the crime.  He also has tattoos on his arms.

The car is a 2011 pearl white Nissan Altima with tinted windows. The license plate reads CH2L821.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Austin police. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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